Nutrigenetics; what is it?

Nutrigenetics is a field of genetics and food science that studies the influence of variants in DNA sequences or mutations and diet. The pioneer in this area was the physician Archibald Garrod who, at the beginning of the 20th century, identified that a series of errors in metabolism could be hereditary. Specifically, the disease he detected is known as alkaptonuria. This study entitled “Inborn errors of metabolism” laid the foundation on which nutritional genomics and nutrigenetics work today. But before going into detail, we must put some context.

Nutrition, diet and health.

There is currently great concern on the part of high-income countries because more people die from poor nutrition than from other diseases. And it is that malnutrition is already responsible for 1 in 5 deaths worldwide, thus exceeding deaths directly related to tobacco or other risk factors.

Nutrition is one of the most complex fields due to the high number of factors that influence having a correct diet that has healthy consequences. It is not only what we eat that influences our body, but also how we eat, where we eat, what we do while we eat, how we spend that energy, how that digestion is done, how we have the intestinal flora and an even more complex factor that enter this equation, to what our genetics predispose us nutritionally..

Nutrigenetics and health.

Today it is known that some genetic variants can be found in genes that form proteins related to processes such as the control of energy expenditure balance, nutrient intake, calcium or iron metabolism, lactose or gluten processing, synthesis, transport and control of cholesterol, etc.

In this way, these genetic variants modify the dietary circumstances of each individual. For example, a variant in the gene that codes for the enzyme lactase may be responsible for a person suffering from lactose intolerance.

However, not all categories are as straightforward as the example described above, in which only the analysis of a genetic variant is sufficient to establish the diagnosis. A large part of the conditions analyzed in a nutrigenetic study, such as obesity or type 2 diabetes, have a strong multifactorial character and their genetic component only defines a percentage of the predisposition to develop that disease or condition, the rest being dependent on the environment in which the one who lives (sociocultural relationship with food, stress, sedentary lifestyle, etc.) For this reason, it is even more important to know a person’s genetic predisposition and establish those general habits that are perhaps best known throughout the world, but also the personalized ones that affect a specific genetic condition in order to minimize risks and enhance health.

AboutMe by ADN Institut: nutrition and genetics

Nutrigenetics accessible to everyone.

Due to the appearance of new sequencing technologies and the development of numerous nutrigenetic studies that identify genetic variants with nutritional problems, various laboratories have begun to market nutrigenetics tests. At ADN Institut, we have built a versatile test, called AboutMe Nutrigenetics which covers multiple nutritional aspects without neglecting the scientific rigor that characterizes us. Thus, the individual who performs the test will be informed about which vitamins would be convenient to reinforce with their diet or what predisposition they have to develop type 2 diabetes, among many other aspects. We have also optimized a system for sending a saliva sample kit at home for all of Spain and at no cost, so that people do not have to travel to the health center.

What does a nutrigenetic test give me?

A nutrigenetic test provides very valuable information for our day to day, so that it allows us to know how our body adapts to different foods and how we have to adapt our diet to our genetics.

The nutrigenetic test is not in itself a magic recipe to obtain the desired results of weight gain or loss, but rather it is support in designing an adequate diet at all levels. Even this test can be your first step for the change that you have been promising yourself every year. Scientific studies have determined that diets carried out in conjunction with nutrigenetic advice improves single-model diets.

Another of the bases on which this test is based is its preventive nature, this test contains a lot of information in reference to the predisposition to develop diseases related to food that can be decisive for the future of anyone who acquires it.

But not everything is about food, our study also includes a section related to sports in which we inform about the genetic variants that you share with professional athletes and that have been reported in scientific studies on resistance and power. There is also a section in which your risk of injury is studied.

El test nutrigenético AboutMe de ADN Institut se compone de 35 secciones diferentes que se dividen en 6 categorías distintas:

AboutMe Nutrigenetic test
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Food intolerances
  • Eating habits
  • Diet Response
  • Risk to metabolic and cardiovascular pathologies
  • Response to physical exercise

What is the future of nutrigenetics and why do we believe in its potential to change lives?

Nutrigenetics is a science that advances slowly due to its numerous factors that influence it, however, the creation of new genotyping technologies, as well as the joint realization with techniques such as metabolomics (study of the presence of metabolism products in fluids such as blood, urine, etc.), metagenomics (study of the presence of microorganisms in the mouth, on the skin, in the intestine, etc.) or transcriptomics (study of gene expression) will allow studies to be designed with greater precision, broader and even temporal as monthly studies of changes in the microbiota.

At ADN Institut we believe in the potential of nutrigenetics as an advisor for changes in daily routine and in our way of life. We work in order to promote a paradigm shift in the field, in which nutrigenetics will have a transcendental role in the form of population screening. The detection of variants that relate our immune system to our diet and to our changes in the intestinal microbiota could be a very valuable tool in the early detection of diseases such as colon cancer, among other serious diseases of the digestive system. And quoting the great Greek doctor Hippocrates: “Let food be your medicine, and medicine your food”, a good diet with informed decisions can be the difference to directly and significantly improve your health and well-being.

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